HBCU clean energy initiative brings 14 free solar arrays to low-income North Carolinians

The Clean Energy Initiative (CEI) of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Development Action Coalition (HBCU CDAC), brings more cost-efficient solar savings, access to clean energy and advanced energy technology to underserved residential areas. These 14 free solar systems have all been installed on low-to-mid-income owner-occupied homes, with installations by Southern Energy Management using SolarEdge inverters and monitoring technologies.

To date, 10 solar systems have been installed in Greensboro, North Carolina, and four are in progress in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. These projects are part of a national initiative led by HBCU CDAC, which was tasked by the Department of Energy (DOE) to raise awareness and equitable access to clean energy solutions through the direct involvement of the HBCUs and Minority- Serving Institutions (MSIs) of the country. † In the spring and summer of 2021, HBCU CDAC identified HBCU North Carolina A&T (NCA&T) University in the city of Greensboro as the first community-based implementation university in North Carolina.

Southern Energy Management (SEM), was chosen as a local installation partner through HBCU CDAC’s evaluation process, due to its status as a Certified B Corporation, the company’s 20 years of experience with the local solar industry and good working relationship with the local community partner. Powered by HBCU CDAC’s funding and community partnerships, SEM installed SolarEdge systems in the homes of 10 low- to middle-income residents in Greensboro at no cost to the homeowners.

“Our efforts with HBCU CDAC and SolarEdge not only help set the needle for the clean energy industry in North Carolina, but also narrow the gap in access to clean energy. We are excited to expand our partnership with this innovative program, which will help us increase homeowners’ access to clean, affordable energy and create cost-effective solutions in the communities that need it most,” said Bob Kingery, Co-Founder and CEO from Southern Energy Management.

Each installation includes SolarEdge optimizers, inverters, and consumption and production monitoring applications, allowing homeowners to track solar energy usage and savings in real time. By pooling SolarEdge’s monitoring data, HBCU CDAC can demonstrate measurable impact within the community and advocate for funding to grow the program across the country. The systems completed to date will cover an average of 76% of the homeowner’s electricity consumption through May this year.

“We are proud to partner with Southern Energy Management to support this valuable initiative to provide HBCU CDAC with a product solution that will help program participants dramatically reduce their energy costs while becoming more energy resilient,” said Peter Mathews, General director of North America. from SolarEdge.

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